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A Matter of Perspective – Or Why My Father Won’t Like My Fiction

“Show, Don’t tell”


I’ve been thinking about my writing a lot lately. Mostly in the realm of a putting together a storyline that has bounced around inside my head and the best way to get it out and do it justice. Naturally, as an avid procrastinator, the absolute last thing on my mind is the actual writing of the story. That would be productive and fulfilling, not my m.o. I have a hard time with “productive,” it’s a thing. Instead, I’ve stalled myself out in the planning and researching stages. You see, the trick to overcoming procrastination is prioritization. You’ll never do the thing that is most important to do, which in this case is just writing the damn thing, and to avoid it, you’ll do things that are below it in priority. It’s a pretty good system for getting things done, sort of. I want my information exact going into the story, and I want to have a game plan for writing it from the beginning. I learned in November that it makes things easier.

While thinking about all of this, I was also listening to the Hunger Games Trilogy. I very much enjoyed the trilogy. It’s dark, gritty, amazingly well written, and so very gut wrenching. So, naturally, I told my father about how awesome it was, and he went out and got his hands on the first chapter. You know, as a preview for deciding if he liked it or not.

He isn’t going to be reading it.

There was a very simple reason behind his decision. He doesn’t enjoy reading books written in first-person. This triggered a conversation, and even more thought from myself, because I began to realize that I do, and even more, I prefer to write in first person.

It clicked for me, the problem I’ve had with writing fiction for the last several months.  I’ve always written in the third-person, but it doesn’t feel natural to me anymore. I’ve written that way in the past because it makes it cleaner when you are writing collaborative projects for things like Journal Based RPGs and LARPs. It’s just easier for everyone involved to write a more fluid scene writing in third-person. Most of the writing I’ve done over the last year has been on this blog, and even my NaNoWriMo project was really more like a 50,000 word blog post (or collection thereof). My writing focus has shifted, and as I’ve found my voice as a writer, I’ve come to realize that it’s one of personal experience and emotion.

I write from inside the head.

So, now, I’ve come to this conclusion, I am going to have to face something I never even considered being a possibility. My father will not like my writing. Oh well, I was 93% sure he wouldn’t read it anyway.

He likes Tom Clancy and hates Piers Anthony.  He just has bad tastes in books.

I’m kidding Dad…




Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

4 thoughts on “A Matter of Perspective – Or Why My Father Won’t Like My Fiction”

  1. Meredith says:

    You have to write in your own voice, no matter what you think one person will think. There will be people who like your writing, and there will be people who don’t. Write the stories that must be written. Don’t let that evil harpie procrastination stop you, and don’t let your fears of “s/he won’t like this” stop you — even if that person happens to be your dad. He might not like it, but I’d wager he’ll be proud of you anyway.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Exactly. Besides, if he doesn’t like MY writing, he clearly doesn’t know good writing anyway, right?

  2. Tracy Mangold says:

    He’s your dad. He would like what you wrote no matter what. I think he’ll enjoy it. Maybe it will be the catalyst to get him to like first person writing. 😀

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Maybe. I know that no matter what he’s going to say he likes it. That’s just how my dad rolls.

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